Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case has been declared a mistrial after jurors failed to reach a verdict on the sixth day of deliberations.
The 12-member jury was deadlocked after over 50 hours of deliberations, and Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill spent Saturday (17Jun17) interviewing each member.
“This jury is hopelessly deadlocked,” he said.
Comedian Bill Cosby, 79, was facing up to 30 years behind bars on three charges of aggravated indecent assault, accused of drugging and sexually molesting Andrea Constand, a former Temple University basketball manager, at his home in 2004.
Prosecutors have already confirmed they will retry The Cosby Show star, who sat motionless as the jury returned to the courtroom in Pennsylvania on Saturday, and appeared to frown as Judge O’Neill declared a mistrial in the case.
The trial lasted for just six days and the funnyman did not testify. His accuser took the stand and recalled the night she was allegedly molested, telling the court, “I was jolted conscious, jolted awake, and I felt Mr. Cosby’s hand groping my breasts, under my shirt. I felt his hand inside my vagina, moving in and out. And I felt him take my hand, place it on his penis and move it back and forth.”
Constand told prosecutor Kristen Feden she was unable to stop the sex attack because her body was “limp” – the result, she claimed, of the unidentified pills Bill Cosby suggested she take to help her “relax”. He claimed the pills were Benadryl, an allergy medication.
The comedian’s lawyers maintained throughout the trial their client and Constand’s sexual relationship was consensual.
Bill Cosby initially settled with Constand in 2005 when she first reported the sex assault to police and filed a civil lawsuit after then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor ruled against prosecuting the case.
In a recorded deposition, the TV star confessed to plying women with sedatives before having sex with them. He also confirmed he had slept with Constand.
His deposition was unsealed in 2015, prompting prosecutors to reopen the criminal case. Cosby was arrested on charges he assaulted Constand in 2016.
Close to 60 other women have also come forward with claims they were drugged and/or raped by Cosby, and some have pending civil suits against him.